Cary Fukunaga to direct THE ALIENIST event series

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True Detective was one of last year’s most notable series and fans were understandably disappointed to hear that director Cary Fukunaga, who won the Best Director Emmy for his work on the series, would not be returning for the second season.

However he’s not lost to the small screen as Deadline are reporting that he’s been tapped to direct another event series for Paramount TV, this time based on Caleb Carr’s 1994 best selling novel ‘The Alienist’. Not to be confused with ufologists (sorry Nick), alienist is an old fashioned term for a psychiatrist or psychologist; and is still used today, albeit rarely, to described mental health professionals who evaluate defendants suspected of having mental health issues to determine their competency to stand trial.

The novel is a historical crime thriller set in 1896 New York City (because, besides London, no other cities existed at the time) that follows Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (the alienist) and police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (yes, that Theodore Roosevelt) as they attempt to track down a serial killer terrorising poor immigrant communities in the city; with the budding disciplines of criminal psychology and forensic science providing invaluable assistance.

Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) will be co-executive producer alongside Hossein Amini (The Two Faces of January), who will also write the series.

Paramount TV’s president Amy Powell said:

The Alienist is a fascinating and distinctive, fast-paced psychological thriller that is wonderfully evocative of the unrivaled Gilded Age of New York City. Cary Fukunaga’s unique vision and ability to render compelling, distinctive and superbly atmospheric direction is the perfect voice for this television series. We are thrilled to have not only Cary’s expert direction, but also the creativity, imagination and storytelling abilities of the supremely talented Eric Roth and Hossein Amini.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Fukunaga approaches the series, and if he brings even half of the flair to this that he did to True Detective it should be something to watch.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015

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